Monday, November 22, 2010


The kids got their school pictures done earlier this year and I finally got around to posting them. See? Just a bit to your left! They are darn tootin' cute! Love those two!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New York Goodwich

Perhaps one of my favorite Lenten dinners, and, simultaneously, one of Josh's least favorite. Maybe it is the bbq'ed onions? I don't know!

This recipe comes from "The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit For Life Kitchen" by Marilyn Diamond. She is totally vegan. She is not Orthodox. I love this cookbook.

Marilyn writes: "the goodwich is actually an edible plate. Whatever your heart desires goes in layers on a soft, hot whole-wheat tortilla or chapati, which is then rolled burrito-style and eaten end to end."

In her cookbook she give lots of variations of goodwiches, I just happen to like the New York style.

First job is to prepare all the insides of your goodwich. The New York has:
steamed broccoli & cauliflower
shredded carrot and red cabbage
dill pickles
1 onion sauteed in bbq sauce

Once everything is ready, you make your goodwich. Heat your tortilla, spread mayo down the middle and then pile everything in like a burrito. Super yum!

**Josh just read over my shoulder and said his disdain for this recipe has nothing to do with the bbq onions. It is "the awful combination of onions, pickles, and mayo." Hum. Looks like that's what we are having for dinner tonight! Bwaha ha ha!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello Advent!

Here is our weekly menu for the first week in Advent:

Monday: Farfalle Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Olives
Tuesday: New York Goodwiches (these are SO good!)
Wednesday: Stewed Tomatoes with Potatoes & Green Beans (served over rice)
Thursday: Baked Salmon (served with bread & salad)
Friday: Lentil Soup with Bread
Saturday: my favorite: Leftovers!

Recipe request? Just leave me a comment and I will be happy to oblige!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Latest Project

Our new house has three bedrooms. Between the two rooms that could belong to the children, only one was painted. Since this happened to be the larger of the two rooms, and Levi inherited the queen bed, that room became his. Thus, Claire was left with a plain white room. With pink curtains. Just to jog your memory, this is what it looked like:

Well, I was feeling rather crafty and adventurous, so I decided that it was time to tackle Claire's room. She said she wanted a pink and purple room. Well, we all know those colors won't fly in my house, so we (I) decided on a green, yellow, and purple room. With pink accents.

Sounds terrible right? Well, have a look and see for yourself!

I started with the closet. First, I painted the entire inside and all the trim white. I then painted the one shelf in her closet a deep purple. I also added another shelf, which was painted purple too. I placed this one much lower, in order for her hang up clothes to be accessible.

I also decided to put a chair rail in her room. Here is where I started painting the top color, yellow. Actually, in the sunlight it looks real yellow. However, at night, and with unnatural light, it tends to look bright green. The color is Pear.

Ahh! The green has emerged!

Here is a more complete view. Since we were adding chair rail, we also changed the trim and base in Claire's room to match the rest of the house. Those are all painted white.

Another view...

Here is the first corner that was completed.

I even painted her bed! It was surprisingly easy and I am definitely glad that I decided to do that!

And here is the final project!

What do you think? Claire loves it. I totally love it. I do have some finishing touches to do. Like filling in the nail-gun holes in the trim and base and touch up painting. But otherwise, it is such a fun, bright, and warm room. It is impossible to find sheer purple curtains, so those are ordered and that should complete the effect perfectly.

By the way, the wall with the tree is actually stickers from Ikea. Super fun and super cheap. All those stickers (plus about five more which we did not add) only cost $8!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh my goodness, it has been awhile since I have sat down and done this. Blog, that is. It seems somewhat strange: having a computer all to myself, no children climbing all over me (or screaming), not having a million things calling my name, and being relatively still. These past few months in Portland have been hectic, wonderful and hectic at the same time. Perhaps my mother is the only remaining person reading this blog. That is okay. Mom, this is for you!

I think the easiest way to ease back into this phenomenons known as blogging is to have a structured format. So, again, stealing from another friends blog, I will do a "Daybook" post.

Outside my window...
It is dark. Completely black. Today was day-light savings day (lame!) and so our precious sun set around 5:30. So instead, I am half-heartily watching the Packers kick some Cowboy butt.

Of course, my children woke up at 6am this morning. SIX AM! UGH. Ten bucks says that they will sleep in tomorrow morning when it is time to get up for school and we will be rushing around the house in order to get out of here on time.

I am thankful for...
Wow. What a loaded statement. Should I answer that honestly, I would list everything. Really everything. But perhaps what I am the most thankful for currently, is our new parish. When we found out we were moving to Portland, a deacon from our church told us about a parish in Beaverton that had a wonderful priest, phenomenal members, and a educational-centered elementary school. Since then, the church of St. John the Baptist had been in the back of our heads.

When we drove down trying to find a house to buy, we attended St. John's for a vespers service on Saturday night. Seemed like a nice enough place at the time, but sparks did not fly. Long story short, we ended up purchasing a house very close, enrolling our children into the school, and making St. John's our church.

Ever hear that expression that God works in mysterious ways? Well, this is one of those ways. Most of you all know that I was not particularly excited when Josh matched to the hospital in Portland. I truly wanted to make a drastic move: New England was my top choice. But we did not get in there. Instead, we matched to Portland. And for that, I am grateful.

Words cannot express how much I love our new church. Our priest and his family is loving, caring and very involved. The church members are dedicated Christians, who put God and serving Him their priority. It is a wonderful feeling, to feel the Hand of God in your life; working to make a difference in you.

I am praying...
My brother is having minor surgery next month, so I will keep him in my prayers. Also for my husband. We kept hearing that the first year of residency is very hard. And it is proving to be so. Although I believe I have an extremely intelligent husband, he tends to feel negatively about himself and his abilities. It is hard to watch him go through that.

From my kitchen...
Not much cooking has been going on over here except for the normal breads and cereals who's recipes I have memorized. But fall is my favorite season. And there is nothing better in fall than homemade soup and fresh bread. Yum!

I am reading...
Well, we recently made our first visit to Powell's. Crazy that we have been here for almost five months and we just made it to one of Portland's most famous destinations! Well, I picked up a book "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman. It is about a Hmong baby girl who develops epilepsy. The book deals with the two cultures colliding: her Hmong parents and the American medical system.

So far it has been a fascinating story.

I am listening too...
Ancient Faith Radio. Big plug for them! I am still working my way though Dr. Jeannie Constantinou's podcast called Search the Scriptures. For over two years she has been doing a weekly podcast where she goes through the Bible. She brings to the discussion a lot of history, understanding, and commentaries and homilies from the church fathers. I would highly recommend this podcast to anyone. She is unapologetically Orthodox, but she also explains things historically, so many people would benefit from her lessons.

She recently came to our church for a Women's Retreat to talk about Mary, the Mother of God. It was incredible. She has a no-nonsense way of speaking which I find refreshing and entertaining, not to mention educational!

On schedule this week...
Many of you also know that I developed a stress fracture in my foot two weeks prior to running the Portland Marathon. Well, I did not get to run, and my doctor has explained that these types of injuries take a long time to heal. So have not been as active as I like, but have started swimming in the mornings. I am actually liking it quite a lot, and even got a compliment from one of the lifeguards last week that my form had improved dramatically. This last week I was unable to go for numerous reasons, but, starting Monday, that will change. I will get back into the pool!

I have also started volunteering in Levi's classroom on Monday mornings. Tuesday mornings I regularly attend a Bible class run at the church and then on Wednesday we have company coming. My sister-in-law is coming with her three children for a long weekend visit. Every morning Claire wakes up asking how much longer until her cousin, Eleanor, gets here. Both my kids are SO excited to see them!

Well, that seems like a long enough update. I will have to post some pictures soon, because we have done a lot in the past few months! But that will have to happen another time since it is bedtime for my two rug rats!